Clethra fargesii

Chinese Clethra

Plant Type:


Clethra fargesii - Chinese Clethra is similar to C. barbinervis but is smaller growing. Racemes are long, 5 to 7 inches, white and deliciously, potently fragrant. Foliage is medium-dark green with a satin sheen. Individual leaves are 3 to 5 inches long and serrate. Often yellow to golden autumn tones set up before leaf fall but bronze red to dull red shading is often predominant. And the bark on older specimens significantly exfoliates revealing smooth and marbled inner bark... it is spectacular. Handsome in all seasons and a draw for many pollinators Clethra fargesii will graciously fill a space in your landscape. Please note that though the 4 to 6 feet wide size designation is circa 10 years a landscape denizen; as with other species of Clethra this shrub will colonize over time. Part shade in fertile, moisture retaining ground. The ground must hold onto moisture for the shrub to be content; but this is not a plant for a muddy wet site. Established potted Chinese Clethra from cutting.


6-10 ft


4-6 ft



Characteristics and Attributes for Clethra fargesii

Season of Interest (Flowering)

  • Summer

Season of Interest (Foliage)

  • Spring / Summer / Autumn

Interesting Bark

  • Marbled
  • Exfoliating

Autumn Interest

  • Fruit / Berries / Seed Heads
  • Autumn Leaf Color

Nature Attraction

  • Butterflies
  • Honey Bees & Native Bees


  • Morning Sun / Afternoon Shade
  • Dappled Shade


  • Shrub Border
  • Fragrant
  • Natural Garden
  • Grouping


  • Fertile
  • Moist


  • China

Propagated By

  • Cutting Grown